Twenty-five days and 700 screenings later, the country’s largest film festival wrapped last night with the world premiere of made-in-Seattle Grassroots and an appearance by Jason Biggs in red pants (how natty). If this year’s film festival taught us anything, it’s that:
— Seattle director Megan Griffiths is a badass. With her second-ever feature film Eden, she took the true story of an American teen made the victim of sex trafficking—touchy material, to say the least—and created the most suspenseful, thoughtful film we saw at SIFF. She also got Jamie Chung (best known, until now, as the fiance in The Hangover II) to turn in a career performance as the kidnapped teen. Both Griffiths and Chung came out of SIFF winners; Griffiths received the first-ever Reel NW Award for the top film with Northwest connections, and Chung took home the Golden Space Needle audience award for best actress.
— Mark Duplass is kind of a big deal now. He starred in multiple films in this festival (Your Sister’s Sister, Safety Not Guaranteed), had bit parts in others (People Like Us), and wrote a few of his own (The Do-Deca Pentathalon). If he had stock, I would buy it.
— "Stand-by tickets" usually stands for "stand in the rain for half an hour and don’t expect to get in."
— No matter how many movies we cut out of work to see, we will never cover all the great stuff the festival brings in. Thankfully, SIFF gives out awards and re-screens the Best of the Fest this month (June 15–21).
Grand Jury Prizes
Best New Director Nicolas Provost, The Invader (Belgium, 2011)
Best Documentary Five Star Existence, directed by Sonja Lindén (Finland, 2011)
FIPRESCI Prize for Best New American Film Welcome to Pine Hill, directed by Keith Miller (USA, 2012)
Golden Space Needle Audience Awards
Best Documentary The Invisible War, directed by Kirby Dick (USA, 2012)
First runner-up The Other Dream Team, directed by Marius Markevicius (Lithuania, 2012)
Second runner-up Chasing Ice, directed by Jeff Orlowski (USA, 2012)
Third runner-up Ethel, directed by Rory Kennedy (USA, 2012)
Best Director Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Best Actor Alan Cumming, Any Day Now
Best Actress Jamie Chung, Eden
Best of SIFF 2012
June 15–21, SIFF Cinema Uptown and SIFF Film Center, visit siff.net for schedule